19 Okaloosa projects receive RESTORE funds

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Below is a look at the 19 projects that have been approved to receive RESTORE Act funding in Okaloosa County, how much money they are receiving and a brief description on how the funds will be use:

- Economic revitalization of Niceville’s Historic Old Downtown, $400,000. Objective is to acquire property in Niceville’s historic downtown to serve as a public landing.

- Okaloosa County snorkel/dive reef construction, $1.229 million. Create a network of reefs that will fill a niche tourism market while creating a new marine habitat.

- Captain Royal Melvin Heritage Park and Plaza, $1.25 million. This project builds a park and plaza to serve as a public gateway to the Destin harbor and its charter fishing fleet.

- Clement Taylor Park restoration, $750,000. Restores the park by demolishing the existing playground and replacing it.

- CAST (Coastal Agriculture, Science, and Technology) five-year plan, $397,423. CAST will provide a hands-on science lab with an emphasis on ecosystems and marine life.

- Laffitte Crescent stormwater infrastructure retrofit, $432,000. Replaces failing stormwater infrastructure that contributes to flooding conditions and pollutants into Cinco Bayou.

- FWB Landing waterfront improvements Phase 1, $1.1 million. Enhance the park for community events by constructing a seawall, dock, boardwalk and other improvements.

- Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center RESTORE, $89,580. Phase 1 includes the construction of six new pools, the refurbishment of existing pools and the purchase of state of the art life support systems.

- C.W. Ruckel STEM class, $16,500. Requested funds to purchase and ship modules where students can work in groups of two on various STEM programs.

- Student-led habitat restoration in Okaloosa County, $90,000. Will fund student-led restoration and protection projects at city- and county-owned properties.

- The NeighborWood at Emerald Coast Science Center, $89,999. A habitat restoration and expansion project to improve a 30,000 square foot outdoor learning environment.

- Multi-use outdoor community facility in Niceville, $83,000. A new facility, featuring gazebos, benches and parking, that can host community functions.

- Life Center of Gregg Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, $90,000. Gregg Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church is transforming the former Chester Pruitt Recreation Center into a community center.

- Enhancing the STEM biomedical sciences program, $11,039. Grant will allow the high school’s biomedical sciences program to offer a more intense professional program.

- Choctawhatchee High School workforce development program, $89,995. Increase the current engineering, aerospace and science department.

- Okaloosa Lane bridge conversion, $90,000. Install a single-span bridge that will allow the existing creek to be reestablished to conditions similar to what would have existed if the culverts had never been placed there.

- Preservation trail near Turkey Creek, $90,000. Complete Phases 1 and 2 of the preservation trail to provide healthy, recreational and educational activities within the Niceville city limits.

- Environmental and ecological science fair projects, $36,862. Expands Northwood Arts and Science Academy’s science curriculum by creating an ongoing school-wide science fair project focusing on environment and ecology.

- Bringing Up the Trades, $67,321. Purchase materials required for a basic construction course to be offered at Baker School.